Natural gas prices held gains Thursday as weekly inventory data came in largely in line with estimates, and forecasts for cold weather prompted expectations for gas-fired heating demand. Natural gas for December delivery was up 2.8 cents, or 0.8%, at $3.8160 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said domestic gas stockpiles rose 87 billion cubic feet in the week ended Oct. 24, slightly higher than the 85 bcf increase projected by a Wall Street Journal survey of analysts. Total inventories now stand at 3.48 trillion cubic feet, just shy of the 3.5 tcf mark that analysts say will ensure adequate supplies through the fall and winter heating season. With analysts expecting continued storage increases into November, stockpiles could cross that threshold as early as next week. Inventories now stand 8.2% below average levels […]